Leave it up to Westview High School senior Raghav Tripathi, 17, to advance the future of medicine.
His research on a promising "painless painkiller" that may reduce unintended side-effects and addiction associated with modern prescription pain medicine won him a $3,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington D.C. next month for a national competition.
Tripathi is one of only six national finalists in the Siemens Competition with a chance at $100,000 in scholarship money.
"The Siemens competition has pushed me toward exploring my limits even more and thinking that it's not about your background as much as where you're going in the future," Tripathi said.
Tripathi's research earned a scholarship last summer to work in a New York lab. While there, he spent countless hours working, including many sleepless nights.
"I felt pushed and I felt I couldn't do it sometimes because a lot of the experiments weren't working out," Tripathi said. "Then I kept working on it and when I actually found the compound, it just felt like magic."
No matter what happens in the national competition next month, he is proud of his accomplishments and will keep researching his project for years to come.
"The end product will hopefully be some sort of pill, vaccine, maybe a spray or something that can be used by people who are suffering from pain," Tripathi said.
Tripathi hopes to be a doctor someday with a strong focus in medical research.